In 1945, Dick Powell portrayed Phillip Marlowe in the movie "Murder My Sweet" based on Raymond Chandler's novel "Farewell My Lovely". This was a radical departure in character for Mr. Powell from a Hollywood song and dance man to a hard-boiled detective. On June 11,1945, the Lux Radio Theater brought "Murder My Sweet" to radio, again with Dick Powell in the lead. These two performances prompted his selection for the part of Richard Rogue, in Rogue’s Gallery after his role for Lux Radio Theater and Richard Diamond came four years later.
Richard Diamond, Private Detective came to NBC in 1949. Diamond was a slick, sophisticated detective, with a sharp tongue for folks who needed it. Diamond enjoyed the detective life, but not as much as entertaining his girl, Helen Asher. After each show, he would croon a number to his Park Avenue sweetheart. Mr. Powell, a former song and dance man, was perfect for the role. He added an extra dimension to the 40's hokey private eye drama.
Diamond was a rough gumshoe that would often get knocked on the head with a revolver butt or other items. His counterpart on the police force was Lt. Levinson who often accepted Diamond's help reluctantly. Levinson would claim to get stomach trouble whenever Diamond would call him and would take bicarbonate to settle his aching stomach. Although they always seem at odds with each other, Diamond and Levinson were best friends.
The plot theme remained fairly constant throughout the entire run of the show, Diamond getting beat up and solving a tough murder case with the support of the police department. Remarkably, for all the gun fights, Diamond never got shot. And for all his bravado, he had a serious case of vertigo.
Helen Asher was portrayed by Virginia Gregg, who also played the part of Brooksie on Let George Do It and Betty Lewis on Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. Blake Edwards wrote the early shows and also directed a few. Music was composed by David Baskerville and later by Frank Wirth.
In January of 1951, the series moved to ABC under the full sponsorship of Camel cigarettes. Then in May of 1953, the series moved to CBS but all shows were repeats from the 1950-51 Rexall sponsored season on NBC.
Richard Diamond was one of the radio shows which successfully moved to television with David Janssen, later of The Fugitive fame, in the title role of Richard Diamond. The opening scene of the television show often featured the long lovely legs of Mary Tyler Moore, who went on to fame in The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary was replaced on the Richard Diamond show when it became known that she owned the mystery legs.
NEW: Updated with Version 2 Files on 30-May-2007
From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
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February 15, 2018 Subject:
Old Time Radio Boomer
Grew up on old radio shows like many of these before they hit TV including Richard Diamond. Fan of Dick Powell's noir and detective era. I have a question about this show. Would like to know if there was ever an original episode that explained how the Diamond character and Helen Asher character met. Always wondered how the writers put a struggling PD and millionairess society gal together. Great concept.
July 5, 2017 Subject:
One of the top 3 shows on my list
This is a awesome show and even tho I am only 35 at the time of this review I love the older radio shows.
May 29, 2015 Subject:
So much fun!
I love listening to this series; it has the perfect blend of serious crime and tongue-in-cheek humour. My favourite episode is 'The House of Mystery,' a Halloween spoof with the classic haunted house, mysterious butler, and damsel in distress.
Very few sour notes to be heard from this song and dance man!
August 28, 2014 Subject:
A very slick, tongue in cheek, detective show. Dick Powell show cases his wide variety of talent including his singing ability on the prompting of his girlfriend, Helen, played by Virginia Gregg. One of my favourite songs was his rendition of "Dear Hearts and Gentle People" as Herbert Appleknocker from Mountain Dew, Alabama. (See "The Jewel Thief", 19 Feb 1950.) Thanks to the OTRG for putting this online.
November 19, 2013 Subject:
Much more than mediocre.
Its a good show, especially good for how long ago it aired. I have listened to a lot of the episodes, and I have these problems. Richard insults Otis much to often, and for barely and reason other than Otis being not being the sharpest tool in the shed. But I guess its just comical. Another little problem I have is, he and his girlfriend are very rude to that guy that lived downstairs in The Singing Critic. I would also hate to have a girlfriend that forces me to sing before I eat dinner. Again, the singing part at the end of an episode is supposed to be at the end of every episode. I also do not like how in some episodes they give away who the baddie is. All in all, they are interesting to listen to, but im going to move onto some other shows. This is quite a poorly written review, but I just wanted to state my problems. I give this show a 4.
Reviewer:Man from Arles
October 24, 2013 Subject:
Richard Diamond Private Detective
"Richard Diamond" is an extremely well-done show. Hard-boiled, but well-leavened with humor. Rick can handle himself, with his fists as well as with the dames. And he's a crack shot - if I had the time, I'd like to count up all the bad eggs he's been forced to shoot.
Dick Powell certainly went a long way from the Stanley Theatre...
Sole complaint? I prefer the Lt. Levinson of the earlier shows.
October 26, 2012 Subject:
i am a huge dick powell fan- was there anything he COULDN'T do? great dancer, great singer, great actor. this is the audio equivalent of "murder my sweet"- lots of wisecracking that stands up to the test of time. listen to these and you WILL laugh out loud. probably the best gumshoe show i have heard apart from "night beat".
November 20, 2011 Subject:
Richard Diamond Radio Program Production
Can anyone tell me was there a live orchestra on the show or just library cues? I surely loved this show. Dick Powell was absolutely perfect for the part. Where were the shows done? Were they edited on tape. I think tape came in 1948. So these showed had the capability to be edited on tape. Thanks it for now. Maxy.
October 7, 2011 Subject:
Ahead of its time...
Where to begin? Voiceover work by the amazing actors breathes life into the imaginative, innovative, quick-witted and entertaining writing that was second to none in the era the show was broadcast. Personal favorites for newbies - 'The Gray Man' and 'Blue Serge Suit' among too many others to mention. Enjoy!
August 23, 2009 Subject:
This program is one of the better Private Detective radio series. It is well worth downloading and listening too.
February 7, 2008 Subject:
I love these shows!
These shows have everything you could want in a show. They are great detective stories with music and comdey mixed in. My favorites are the Van Dyke Seance Case, Oklahoma Cowboy Murder Case, and Jerome J. Jerome. They are funny with a great detective story!